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Isabel
Santiago

all artwork by Isabel

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“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” -Robert Henri

 

Biography

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storyteller-actor-singer-artist 

Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania

Isabel can currently be seen on PBS’ Great Performances as a lead soloist with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS. Her Off-Broadway credits include First Daughter Suite and GIANT (The Public Theater). Her national tour and concert credits include In The Heights (First National Tour), West Side Story and CANDIDE (The Philadelphia Orchestra), Leonard Bernstein’s MASS (Ravinia). Her most recent film, television, and recording credits include, In The Heights (Warner Bros.), Blue Bloods (CBS), A Gifted Man (CBS), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS), and feature film Martin Eden.

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from the heart

Do you remember the last time you yelled into a tunnel? Amazed as the space captured your voice over and over again? Or the last time you squished a blade of grass between your fingers, all green and fragrant? As an old soul, I crave these things. Things like sand castles, hands-on projects, space, dragons, music, theater, monsters, candid conversation, board games, children and nature. 

 

Growing up, life in Reading, Pennsylvania provided me with a well-rounded view of the world- the good, the bad, everything in between, and the magical. I was guided by my imagination, hard working people and a gritty street education. And, like many Americans, my family lived in poverty. Homelessness, food banks, job loss, and a crumbling economy were very much a part of my life. In high school, I searched out every singing, theater, and language opportunity I could get my hands on, earning me a full scholarship at Temple University to study classical music performance. I understand all too well, that this kind of upbringing is different than most who have a career in the arts. However, I'm proud of what I've been through, learned, achieved, and bring to the table. That to me, is my greatest success.

I currently live in the New York City area with my beautiful husband, Justin Gregory Lopez. Justin is a stunning performer- singer, actor. Our everyday life is grounded, filled with laughter, politics, music, bettering ourselves, and endless amounts of love. It's a beautiful life. 

 

“A land at the top of a tree!” said Connie. “I don’t believe a word of it.”
-The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

“Sometimes since I've been in the garden I've looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden - in all the places.”


― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden